Step-by-Step Guide: How to Move Your WordPress Site from HTTP to HTTPS

Jun 2023

Posted by: Category:Web Design & Development


Securing your website with HTTPS has become essential with the increasing importance of security and privacy. HTTPS encrypts the data transmitted between your website and its visitors, ensuring it remains secure and protected from potential threats. If you have a WordPress site running on HTTP and want to switch to HTTPS, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process.

Steps for Moving Your Website from HTTP to HTTPS

1. Purchase and SSL Certificate

SSL Certificate

The first step in moving your WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS WordPress site to acquire an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that verifies your website’s identity and encrypts the data transmitted between your site and its visitors. You can obtain an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority (CA) or your web hosting provider. Many web hosts offer free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt, making it a convenient and cost-effective option.

2. Install and Activate the SSL Certificate

The SSL certificate must be installed and activated on your web server after you get it. A web hosting company may use an automatic method for installing the certificate. For detailed instructions, see the documentation or contact the customer service team of your hosting provider.

The certificate must be manually installed if you are running your server. To accomplish this, you typically need to create a certificate signing request (CSR), get the SSL certificate files, then set up your server to use the certificate. For specific instructions, go to your server’s documentation, as the procedure may differ depending on how your server is configured. You can also contact a WordPress website development company to handle the installation for you.

3. Update Your WordPress Site URL

After installing the SSL certificate, you must update your WordPress site’s URL to HTTPS instead of HTTP. This ensures that all your site’s links and internal resources are served over a secure connection. To do this:

  • Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to the Settings > General page.
  • Update the “WordPress Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)” fields to use HTTPS instead of HTTP.
  • Save the changes, and your site will now be accessible via HTTPS.

4. Update Internal Links and Resources

There may still be some resources (such as photos, scripts, or stylesheets) connected through HTTP, even though changing the WordPress site’s URL takes care of most internal links. It would also help if you changed these links to guarantee that all resources are loaded safely.

Using a plugin that allows you to search for HTTP URLs and swap them out for HTTPS, such as “Better Search Replace,” is one approach to accomplish this. Before making any changes, remember to perform a backup of your database.

5. Implement Redirects

seamless transition

To ensure a seamless transition from HTTP to HTTPS and maintain the SEO rankings of your site, it’s crucial to implement redirects. Redirecting HTTP URLs to their corresponding HTTPS versions ensures that visitors are automatically redirected to the secure version of your site.

There are a few methods to implement redirects, but one of the most common approaches is using a 301 redirect in your website’s .htaccess file. You can add the following code snippet to the file:

“RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off

RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]”

This code checks if HTTPS is off and redirects the visitor to the corresponding HTTPS URL. Ensure you place this code above any existing rules in your .htaccess file.

6. Update External Links and Resources

To update external links, you must manually swap out any HTTP URLs with their HTTPS equivalents. Links in your content, widget sections, and any other places where external URLs are used fall under this category. To protect the integrity and security of your website, it’s crucial to ensure that all external resources are loaded safely.

You should also examine your website’s embedded content, such as movies or social media posts. Some embedded material might, by default, load over HTTP. The embed codes must be changed to utilize HTTPS instead.

7. Test and Verify SSL Setup

Verifying and testing your SSL setup after making the necessary adjustments is essential to ensure everything is operating as intended. You can use a variety of tools to assist you in this process. The SSL Server Test from SSL Labs, which examines your SSL configuration and offers a thorough report on its security and compatibility, is one often used tool.

Use this tool to test your website’s URL and look for any potential problems or vulnerabilities. If the test results reveal any issues, speak with your web hosting company or a technical professional for advice on fixing them.

8. Update Search Engine and Analytics Settings

Adjusting your search engine and analytics settings to ensure a smooth shift from HTTP to HTTPS is crucial. Among other things, this entails altering the URL of your website in search engine console accounts like Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. You can retain your search engine rankings by letting search engines know about the change and assisting them in indexing your site’s new HTTPS URLs.

The website URL should be updated inside the analytics platform if you use any analytics tools to monitor the performance of your website. Your secure site’s traffic and user behavior will be appropriately reflected in your analytics statistics as a result.

9. Update Your Website’s Canonical URLs and Sitemaps

Finally, update your website’s canonical URLs and sitemaps to reflect the new HTTPS URLs. Canonical URLs help search engines determine the preferred version of your site’s content, and sitemaps provide a list of pages on your site that should be indexed.

Update the canonical URLs in your website’s HTML header to point to the HTTPS version of your pages. Similarly, regenerate and submit your sitemap(s) to search engines, ensuring that the URLs listed use HTTPS.


Following these ten steps, you can successfully move your WordPress site from HTTP to HTTPS. Remember that the process may vary slightly depending on your hosting environment and configuration. If you encounter any issues or are unsure about any steps, it’s always recommended to consult your web hosting provider or a WordPress web development company for assistance.

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